Make this a summer to remember for the right reasons
01 June 2012 01:01
Warwickshire Police, Warwickshire Roads Safety Partnership, The Safer Roads Partnership and West Mercia Police, have all teamed up to warn people of the dangers of driving under the influence of drink or drugs during this summer.
With the summer of celebrations already getting underway it should be a summer to remember. But for some it could turn out to be be a summer to forget.
With the arrival of the warmer weather drink and drug drive offences typically increase. So to combat this a new campaign has been launched to remind people of the risks of mixing drinking with driving.
Enforcement of these offences over the summer will also be a key priority for Warwickshire and West Mercia Police. Roadside checks will be carried out at all times of the day and night and on all types of road. Drivers involved in a collision where the police attend will automatically be requested to take a road side test.
Over the past three years 54 people have been killed or seriously injured in Warwickshire as a result of road collisions where alcohol or drugs was a factor. Of particular concern are those motorists aged between 17 and 30; 52% of drivers involved in fatal collisions involving drink or drugs were aged 17-30 and 85% of the drivers from collisions involving drink or drugs were male.
The immediate consequences for anyone if they are caught drink or drug driving include a minimum 12 month driving ban, plus the possibility of up to 6 months in prison, a fine of up to £5,000 and a criminal record. A conviction for drink or drug driving can have a major impact on the future prospects of a young person. For example, it may lead to job loss and significant problems when applying for a job in the future.
Driving after drinking or taking drugs significantly increases the chances of a person being involved in or causing a collision. The maximum penalty of being convicted of causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs is 14 years’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine, disqualification from driving for at least 2 years and a mandatory extended driving test.
Superintendent Adrian McGee, speaking about the Summer drink and drug drive campaign said,
“During the summer people may be more tempted to stop for a drink after work, and there are more social gatherings and barbecues to enjoy. This year there will be even more opportunities to celebrate an occasion and enjoy a social drink, with the Diamond Jubilee, the European Football championships and the Olympics.
National research shows you are more than 30 times more likely to be involved in a collision if you are twice over the legal limit than a driver who has not had a drink and alcohol remains in your system for many hours. If you have had a few drinks the night before you could still be over the limit the following morning.
“No one can tell exactly how much alcohol they can drink before they pass the legal limit as everybody is different, therefore the best advice is not to drink at all if you are planning to drive.
“Police officers will be carrying out roadside breath tests throughout the day, a positive test in the morning will still mean a 12 month ban and a possible fine, or prison sentence
“If you are planning a night out think ahead and book a taxi to get home or arrange in advance for someone to be the designated driver who only drinks soft drinks and can then drive everyone home.”
“2012 is a terrific year for celebration. Let’s all enjoy it. But let’s make sure we also recognise the potential impact alcohol can have on our driving. In 12 months time let us all be talking about the positive things that happened during the summer of celebration in 2012 and what a fantastic year it was, rather than talking about 2012 being the year we lost our driving licence “
.Acting Supt Lee Davenport, head of the Force Operations Department said:
“Cracking down on those who take drugs or drink and then drive is a year round commitment for West Mercia. However, we are very aware the summer period can present opportunities where people are tempted to drive after taking drugs or drinking. To combat this, extra attention will be made throughout summer in a bid to tackle those who commit the unacceptable act of drinking or drug driving.
“Worryingly, and despite many warnings over the years about the dangers of drink/drug driving, there are still far too many reckless drivers ignoring the devastating consequences. Alcohol and drugs both affect your ability to judge speed and distances accurately and slow down your reaction time. If you are tempted to drive under the influence of drink or drugs this summer then spare a thought for your family, friends and other innocent road users and think hard about what you will put them through if you cause a crash.”
The campaign coincides with the launch on 1 June of the summer drink drive campaign by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).